Bromance is clever, conveying how two men can be great friends. Broga is marketing genius, signaling an all-male yoga class. Bronies is a little weird, but that may be because it describes grown men who like My Little Pony.
Now, there is brosé, coined to note new rosé wines — often equated with girlie girls — favored by men.
Has the bro-ing of words gone too far?
The use of "bro" as short for "brother" entered maintsream culture in the 1990s, although the term wasn’t added to the Urban Dictionary until 2003 and existed in black culture decades before that. There now are more than 250 definitions of bro, few of them flattering. No. 1? “Obnoxious partying males who are often seen at college parties.”
Not content with being a noun, the word has become a prefix. A blog by the revered Oxford Dictionary has researched how bro became “a word-forming dynamo,” adding to what it couldn’t resist calling the brocabulary.
The blog notes examples such as brogrammer, for a boorish male computer programmer, and brobituary, for an ex-bro who succumbs to marriage. Throwing major shade, it deems these efforts “stunt coinages” unlikely to become widely used, although bromance did make it into the Oxford English Dictionary in 2012.
Mostly, prefacing a word with bro seems to have become a lazy punch line. A thread on reddit.com, which is a sort of online bulletin board, includes unabbroachable, broathority, being on brobation and brocery list, which of course includes maca-broni and Bro-ster Strudels.
And, may we say, many more coinages unworthy of repeating.
Beware the slippery slope. The Oxford blog allows that “once bro-isms existed as a comic trope, people invented more of them, increasing the likelihood that at least some would succeed.”
Or, as any bar tab confirms, a guy tacks bro onto a word and he thinks he’s done something bromazing. □